Zico, Sócrates and Falcao`s Brazil were the big favourites for the title, but they were eliminated in the second phase by Italy who went on to take the title beating Germany 3-1 in the final thanks to great performance for striker and leading scorer Paolo Rossi. Hosts Spain, who featured Barça players Urruti, Alexanko, Periko Alonso, Sánchez and Quini failed to catch fire and went out in the second phase.
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the opening game of the 1982 World Cup at the Camp Nou, which was watched by nearly 100,000 spectators and a TV audience of 1,600 million viewers, who were treated to some fantastic sights such as the child in the centre circle with a ball from which a dove of peace was released, or the 2,216 boys and girls who dressed all in white, created Pablo Picasso’s famous bird of peace, which was a cry for harmony in the difficult and divided world of 1982.
The President of the Spanish Football Federation Pablo Porta was in the directors box, accompanied by the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia Jordi Pujol, the King and Queen of Spain and the Presiedent of FIFA Joao Havelange.
Shock result in first game
The simple ceremony preceded the opening game between Argentina and Belgium, which surprisingly ended in a 1-0 win for the Belgians thanks to a goal from Vandenbergh on 62 minutes. The young Diego Armando Maradona (22), who nine days earlier had signed for Barça, was the main attraction at the game.
The Camp Nou went on to host four other games in the tournament: Poland-Belgium (3-0), Belgium-USSR (0-1), USSR-Poland (0-0) and Italy- Poland (2-0). A commemorative marble plaque to mark the games is on show at the entrance to the FC Barcelona Museum.
Renovated Camp Nou
The opening game took place at a Camp Nou which had recently been renovated to meet the FIFA guidelines and up the capacity to 120,000. Although the game was the first in the newly done up ground, it was not officially inaugurated until the Joan Gamper Trophy on August 24th.